Wednesday, 3 February 2016

TTIP: a threat to the NHS

"The Conservative government have blocked access to legal documents that may show the impact of a controversial ‘free trade’ agreement on the NHS."

"The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, known as TTIP, is a US-EU trade deal currently under negotiation, and is avidly supported by the likes of David Cameron and Barack Obama."

"The blocked legal documents, campaigners have cautioned, may contain the extent to which, under TTIP, private NHS contractors could sue the government for introducing policies that negatively impact their profits."

"The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is the most controversial element of TTIP. It allows corporations to sue governments or public bodies before an arbitral tribunal, for policies that are perceived as harmful to their profits. An ‘arbitral tribunal’ is an international hearing, out of the courts and behind closed doors, which decides how much money these companies should get..."

"Furthermore, accrediting authority to international tribunals doesn’t fair well for democracy; should decisions about the constraints on national sovereignty take place behind closed doors? Governments have a transparency obligation to their citizens, especially when it’s private companies after public money."
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There was a rather slow response from the Scottish Government.

"First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joined Labour and the Scottish Greens in calling for the NHS to be robustly protected from private incursions by US healthcare providers."

"Legal advice commissioned by the union Unite has raised concerns that public health providers could be exposed to private "cherry picking" under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the US and the European Union."

Not very reassuring when local services are being stripped and handed to not-for-profits and private bodies as part of the Enabling State.  Ready for takeover ?

1 comment:

  1. "Despite the enormous public outcry over companies like Google and Amazon paying ridiculously small amounts of tax in the UK, the government is trying to sign us up to a trade deal that could effectively prevent us from bringing about laws that could address tax injustice," said Global Justice Now executive director Nick Dearden on Monday."

    "The ability to enact effective and fair tax systems to finance vital public services is one of the defining features of sovereignty," he added. "The fact that multinational companies would be able to challenge and undermine that under TTIP is testament to the terrifying extent of the corporate grab embedded in this toxic trade deal..."

    "In Ecuador, it notes, fossil fuel companies have sued the government several times over the introduction of new taxes on sales and profits of oil and the withdrawal of tax breaks for foreign oil companies."

    "Meanwhile, food and drink corporate investors sued Romania successfully, winning a $250 million award, over early termination of tax breaks—such as exemptions from customs duties and a tax on corporate profits—which had been specifically demanded by the European Commission for Romania to join the EU. "...

    "Or consider the case of Vodafone, which launched an arbitration claim against India that is still ongoing, after it was ordered to pay tax on an $11 billion deal when it acquired a controlling interest in a major Indian phone company."